London 2012

Press release

"It is highly commendable to push Italy the way we did in the first set" says GB player Rachel Laybourne

Team GB caught a flying start making things difficult for Italy in the opening set of their third Olympic game at Earls Court

London, Great Britain, August 1, 2012 – “We struggled a little bit in the first set, also because many of our players were debuting. But then they have been really good in closing the first set with a win” said Italy coach Massimo Barbolini after the 3-0 win over Team GB that had actually started with a very close opening set. Barbolini used this match to give some playing time to all of the players included in his roster: “We need everyone to start playing. To enter a competition is never easy, no matter how easy the match is. We need everyone to be ready because, in a few days, we will play matches where we’ll have to give it all. Any team we meet in the quarterfinals will be a very difficult opponent. To finish first in the pool is important, mainly because it would mean that we beat Russia and we improve”.

“I am very happy, especially happy with the first set as Great Britain made it difficult. We hope to win the next match as well” stated setter Giulia Rondon.

“The first set was almost perfectly executed” stressed GB libero Maria Bertelli. “Win that, and we would have left them rattled. That was our game plan. With a world rating of 69 we were not expected to win any sets. We had our chance at 25-25 but did not take it. That was crucial. But we are still hopeful of a win against Dominican Republic, who have not won any matches yet”.

“The game plan was to stay in contention - get to the 20s and compete. We can hold our heads high” added Rachel Laybourne. “In the second set we were slow off the blocks. It’s always hard in rallies to come back from a five-point gap. I think it’s commendable to push Italy as we did”.

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